Thursday, June 26, 2008

This ever happen to you?

About 3 years ago, after shooting two football games in one night, I was attempting to download the images from my Compact Flash Card. The error message I was getting suggested that there were no images on the card! After consulting with a few of my guru friends, I downloaded (and payed) for software (MediaRECOVER) that could search the flash drive (compact flash card) and find any images that may have survived the event that corrupted it. Luckily, I was able to recover all the pictures that I had taken. Fast forward to June 2008. I just returned from Costa Rica (where some teachers and students from Shepherd High School took a guided trip). I had shot about 13 gigs of pictures with my D3 Nikon. When I tried to download the pictures from a 4 gig card, it wouldn't even mount. My first thought was that the card reader I was using might be bad. So, I tried another, but with the same luck. I then tried sticking the card back into my camera to see if I could read my images (thinking I could link my camera to the computer and download them). The camera reported that their were no images on the card! I was now in panic mode! If I couldn't get the card to mount as a drive, there would be no way I could use image recovery software on it to get any pictures. After curling up in the fetal position for about an hour, I came up with what i thought was a risky plan. A plan from which there would be no return path from. I decided to put the card back into the camera and format it. I knew (at least i hoped I knew!), that formatting should only change the directory (the file that tells where the pictures are located on the disk). If there are pictures on the disk, they should be untouched. Doing this would allow me to mount the disk from the reader. After executing the plan, I put the card into the reader and it mounted on the computer. But, still no images. Next, i launched my mediaRECOVER software and let it look at my card. It reported no images! I couldn't believe it. Again, after going to the edge of the panic cliff, I remembered that the last time I used it, I was looking for jpeg images. Now, i was shooting in RAW (Nikon NEF format). The old software I had couldn't read those files. I went to the MediaRECOVER web site for an update. Their newest version did not read NEF files. So, I put google to work and found Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery. It was a free download. But, if you found your images - it wouldn't download them for you. You had to go back to the site and pay for an I.D. Key to get it to work. So, I ran the free download and found 300 images! WooHoo! I gladly payed the $39 and inputed the keys (2 string of numbers). Not sure if I will ever trust that card again though!

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